THE government has paid 2.404bn/- as benefits to former employees of the Kilombero Sugar Company whose contracts were revoked after the State privatised the firm in 2000.
Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango told the parliament here yesterday in his written response to a question from Mikumi MP Joseph Haule (Chadema) that the payment would only be legitimate after the government’s reassessment of employees’ demands.
The minister said the assessment considered clauses of the workers’ terms of an employment contract and that the payment covered an upfront monthly salary, holiday allowance, transport charges, luggage package, a one-month’s salary for ten years, salary increment arrears and unpaid contribution to social security funds (PPF and NSSF).
“A total of 2,404,984,239/00 was paid to employees who lost their jobs. But the workers were not satisfied with the payments, pushing for a thorough assessment of their 2000 claims,” he said.
The legislator has alleged that some 3,000 employees lost their jobs to the government-LLOVU investment deal.
He said the victims of the deal are yet to be paid their claims too after they stopped working for Kilombero sugar company.
The minister said the re-assessment revealed that there was a deficit of about 11,830,019/00 in payments that the government had approved as benefits.
The workers in their demands claimed that they must be paid a long service award totally worth 1.27bn/- spelled out in a voluntary agreement with workers’ union, OTTU and the company’s management.
Regrettably, Dr Mpango said the government dropped the claims, reasoning that the contract did not comply with the productivity and efficiency policy as it also didn’t consider any production goals which include increasing productivity and profit maximisation of the company.
“This could have enabled the employees to full benefits as a reward for their hard work and diligence,” the minister noted.
He assured that the government had made all the required payments under the law to all former employees of the company.